Every year in the US over half a million women undergo the surgery to have their uterus removed. This procedure, called a hysterectomy, is almost never medically necessary. Instead, many who choose to have it are doing so in order to prevent the possibility of uterine cancer, or to reduce discomfort. One method, that involves a small hole rather than a large incision, is becoming more and more popular. Yet it is one of the most dangerous.
Laparoscopic surgeries are becoming more popular for all sorts of procedures. And for good reason, they reduce scarring and speed the healing process.
A traditional hysterectomy involves a 6 to 8 inch incision on the abdomen. The uterus is then removed and the cut is sewn shut. After that, it takes 4 to 6 weeks for the patient to heal.
A laparoscopic hysterectomy involves 2 small incisions of about half an inch long. Through one a camera with a light is inserted, and through the other a power morcellator is inserted. The surgery is completed faster, and the recovery time is just 2 to 4 weeks. But there is downside: power morcellators have been known to spread cancer cells.
Spreading Cancer around the Abdomen
A morcellator is essentially a cutting blade attached to a long tube. The blade spins and chops up the tissue, and then extracts it through the tube. The process, however, is not completely efficient and some of the tissue cells are left behind. This is where problems occur.
The uterus will often have cancerous cells that are lying dormant. These cells, if undisturbed, often will never develop into tumors or spread. Until they are disrupted. When the morcellator breaks them apart, they become aggravated and begin to grow and spread rapidly. Instead of having basically no cancer, the patient is suddenly thrust into an advanced stage of the disease: and her outlook on surviving is grim.
The Amy Reed Story
Amy Reed was a prominent doctor in Boston. After her last child was born she started to have cramping issues, and it was discovered that her uterus had developed fibroids. These benign tumors often plague women, and most of the time they are harmless and go undetected.
Amy decided to have a hysterectomy with the use of a power morcellator so she could get back to work faster. During the initial screening it was detected that there was some latent cancer in her fibroids, but she was assured that the hysterectomy would remove the cancer. It did not. In fact, it spread it around her, and now she is suffering from an advanced stage of cancer that will likely claim her life within 5 years. You can read more on the Wall Street Journal website.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
The manufacturers of these devices never warned about the possibility that cancerous cells can be spread with the use of their device. As a result hundreds of thousands of women are put at risk every year because they are not aware that they are being put at risk.
If you have had a hysterectomy with a morcellation device, and you have suffered from a spread of cancer, you may be able to file a morcellation lawsuit. Your first step is to contact a personal injury attorney to schedule your free consultation.